Am I crazy? Getting a puppy?

Hi Coth,

I posted several weeks ago about a puppy from an unplanned litter - we walked away and stuck with a breeder waitlist. Couple weeks ago I got the e-mail confirming the breeding had taken place as planned and puppies were hoped for in late March - expected to be ready to go to homes in late May / June (Breeder won’t let puppies go prior to 10 weeks and urges for 12, which I’m a fan of!)

But I think I’m getting pre-puppy ‘cold feet’ and am wondering (as it gets more real)…are we really ready for a puppy?

Life situation:

  • Husband and I both work full time (40-50 hrs/week); currently WFH full time, expect that we’ll do split WFH / in-office post-COVID (likely 2-3 days at home and 2-3 days at the office)
  • 1 year old son with plans for #2 sometime in 2022
  • 6 year old rescue dog who required A LOT of time and training (mostly behavioral) when we got her at 8 months for the first ~2 years; Now super easy and gets AM 45 - 60 min off-leash and PM ~30 min off leash M-F plus 1.5-2 hrs off-leash Sat / Sun

Are we crazy for bringing a puppy into this? I think back to current dog’s schedule as a teenager and it was multiple walks a day, nose work, confidence-building exercises, obedience training, etc.

Plus right now it’s so easy to drop her with friends / family if we go away as she’s SUCH a good houseguest…dropping two dogs feels like a way bigger ask (especially if one is a rambunctious pup!)

So Coth…is this normal “pre-puppy cold feet” or my sanity restarting and making me realize we do not have the bandwidth for a pup?

Reasons we want a pup: Current dog is tolerant at best with puppies and currently is still going strong physically, so I want to get a puppy while still fair to her vs wait until she’s slowing down and grumpy and will have zero patience for an irritating little “sibling”. We foster young (but not puppy) dogs and after 2-3 days she always bonds and loves having a playmate, but the first 2-3 days are a lot of “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MY LIFE” dramatics. We are specific about what we’re looking for in a next dog and have not yet had a foster meet those criteria hence going for a specific breed from breeder vs another rescue. Plus, the rescue world right now is craaaaaaaazy (at least around here). Finally, with plans for baby #2 on the way, I figure life is only going to get more stretched so better to bring in puppy prior to baby #2’s arrival. The idea of current dog passing away and not having a dog in the house is a big fear of mine as it would break me emotionally.

Both you and your husband work 40 -50 hours per week, your child is about to go fully mobile toddler-mode, you are aiming at a second child, you have a dog already, you foster multiple other dogs and you want a puppy? Is that fair to the puppy?

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Yes…reading it like that it is a lot on our plate! I always have had the tendency of wanting a million things going on at once :grimacing:

The fostering has been halted the past 3-4 months as we had been using it as a means of potentially finding the right second dog (since we’d actually prefer to skip the puppy phase and get an adolescent) – but it just became clear to us that we weren’t having much luck with that route.

1 year old is fully mobile at this point - runs, climbs, and throws tantrums with the best of 'em but I expect it will only get more whirlwind as he gets physically stronger.

This is a good reality check and what I needed…going to have a long chat with my husband tonight (who supports me with this puppy venture but definitely doesn’t feel the need for life in the fast-lane quite the same way that I seem to)

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Just remember a new puppy is as time consuming as a newborn infant.
They’ll need potty breaks every couple hours throughout the entire day/night for the first couple weeks to a month.
They’ll need constant supervision & a safe/secure crate for when they can’t be 100% supervised.
They need positive life experiences… training, meeting new people & going new places, etc.

Depending on the breed they can require lots of mental stimulation along with physical exercise.

I don’t think that’s puppy cold feet but rather rational thinking. Personally, a puppy in that mix sounds super stressful. Your current pup is only 6 so you have a ton of time between now and her slowing down. My pup was a huge energy drain on me until he was 2 years old. You could easily end up with a 2 year old, 1 year old, and a 18 month old adolescent dog who needs multiple walks and training sessions.

What kind of puppy?

Big difference between a Cavalier and a Malinois for example.

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Another reality is that Current Dog gets older, he may need more intensive management / accommodations. Will you have bandwidth on top of a very full work schedule, two little kids, and another dog? When DH is already signaling that he’s a bit :man_shrugging: about adding to the Crazy?

Feels like the driving force (armchair psychology) is you’re already missing Current Dog, mourning him in advance. Maybe for these next couple of years just focus on enjoying him (rather than dwelling on impending loss), and the kids of course. Keep tabs on the offerings at the local shelter rather than deal with rescues, ask around at local vets who may know of a dog that needs rehomed. Maybe the right pup will materialize but know that if that doesn’t happen before Current Dog passes, you’ll be strong enough to get through it until another pup enters your life.

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That was my first thought. You could have a house full of Cavaliers and hardly notice an extra one…but two high energy dogs are definitely twice the work (or more).

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And two shedding dogs are twice the fur! I swear I’m only getting poodles going forwards lol

I agree that it sounds more like rational thinking.
I’ve always firmly believed that if you don’t (or barely) have the time to devote to one dog, than a second dog is out of the question.
A second dog costs money, a puppy is a huge time commitment, and it’s a lot of work.

Time spent with a new dog is time that you could be spending with your current dog. If you honestly think about what would make your current dog happiest, would it be another dog in the house? Or would it be an extra walk everyday, or spending half an hour doing some scent work, or learning some tricks? Because if you don’t have the time or interest to add those things in now, you definitely won’t have the time with a new puppy and a second child.

If you can honestly say that your dog is content, and would benefit and enjoy having a puppy around than go for it.

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11 week old puppy parent here. I wanted to adopt an adult rescue. DH had puppy fever. No luck after months with trying to find a rescue, so I consented to getting a puppy from a breeder.

The past 3 weeks has confirmed that I am not made for babies of any species :rofl: Lost my senior dog last May, and while he had become quite a bit more labor intensive in his last 6 months, it still was not anywhere near the energy suck the puppy is. DH and I both work from home full time and we have fairly flexible schedules. Things are getting a bit better with puppy getting on a fairly regular “schedule” himself now - and last night was the first night we did only one potty break overnight (HALLELUJAH!). The energy suck is very real: the lack of sleep, the seemingly constant “you need to go back out again?” - the cleaning up of accidents, the tiring him out so he’ll take a nap so I can get some work done…it is EXHAUSTING. I am a person who does not shrink from hard work at the barn, but this has been killing me.

Admittedly, I am a bit of a curmudgeon. I don’t think it’s that fun to play with a puppy constantly. I like being active with my dogs - but that means going for hikes and working around the barn. But playing tug of war, the training that biting is not ok - all the puppy stuff - is just not for me. DH was the one with puppy fever and when I’m having a bad day with the whole thing, I definitely admit to resenting him for pushing me to agree to this - I promise, I do NOT take this out on the puppy in any way, but if your DH is not 100% in, that is something to consider as well.

All of that being said, I do regret not getting a second dog when my now-passed dog was younger. I think that would have made some things easier, but by the time I was in a position to do that, it was already too late - he was too old with health issues that having a puppy in the house would have aggravated.

I really hope that I will go back and read this in a few years and think it was all worth it. It has to be, right? :innocent:

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thanks all…these are probably all very necessary reality checks. We’re on the waitlist for a Small Munsterlander (german pointing breed)…so not exactly low energy :roll_eyes:

I think current dog is genuinely content. Although at times I think her routine is a bit repetitive and stale. I should start doing nosework around the house with her again…I actually found that with WFH from COVID I do less with her since we’re home all day I figure she has the companionship (and she doesn’t ASK for interaction - just snoozes between walks). When working out of the office I’d make sure time at home was really interactive since I was so guilty she was alone 8 hours a day (well…she did get 1.5 hrs off-leash pack walk in the woods with the dog walker).

I guess I also have concerns because she is so well trained and obedient and I’m not sure we will be able to replicate that with a second dog. In part because of time/bandwidth limitations that didn’t exist when she was younger and in part because she’s definitely a one in a million type of dog (which I’ve only come to appreciate with all the fostering and having everyone who knows her comment on). This also feeds into my fears that if we wait until she passes before getting a new dog, it will be a long road of comparison and not measuring up…which leads me back to wanting a second dog well before she passes so that comparison isn’t the thief of joy.

Maybe you should discuss some of your concerns with the breeder? They will have a better idea of what you should expect from the new pup over the next couple years.

But again, the decision to add a second dog needs to be in the best interest of both dogs. It shouldn’t be based on your feelings.

Sorry if I’m being blunt. My facebook is filled with pandemic puppies needing new homes and it angers me. Not saying that you would ever do something like that.

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I understand you would like a puppy now, but…you’re adding a new personality into your family and then, next year, adding another unknown personality into the mix (new baby). It seems like almost doubling the family size in a short time is pretty rough on everyone. Your older dog will likely show signs of stress from the puppy and signs of stress when the new baby comes.

Wouldn’t it be more fun to wait until you have two children running around that can help exercise a new puppy? Children raised with a dog that they can remember meeting as a puppy, is a special gift to your children. We did that. It’s really a neat thing to see them run and play together.

Our puppy just turned two years old. He’s finally beginning to get civilized now. Everybody forgets how much a pain in the butt puppies are because by age four, they’re saints. You forget all the rotten stuff they did as puppies until the next one is soiling your rug for fourteenth time, throwing up toy parts in the bathroom, and chewing on your favorite shoes.

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Perhaps waiting a few years would make a new puppy experience survivable and enjoyable *

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I look after my sister’s two dogs when she and her husband travel overseas for their work. One is charming, amenable, happy and quiet in the house. A very nice dog. So they decided to get a puppy, of the same breed, with the idea that the older one could be a role model and “train the baby” before, heaven forbid, the older one dies.

Up until this point I had always thought my sister to be a sensible person but brains obviously fell out if her head on this occasion. For a start, I wasn’t asked if I wanted two dogs in my home, one of whom was an active puppy, with little brain, no training and piddling on my floors. Serious grump on my part about the assumptions made.

The puppy has now grown up but the older dog doesn’t want to walk too far, the younger doesn’t want to stop. The elder plays with a toy with me and the youngster pushes in, every time, so the older one sighs and walks off to avoid the annoyance. If I ignore the younger one, a sensitive soul, to play with the other, she slinks off and hides and boy! she can hold a grudge. I take them for a walk: one pulls one way, the other stops to sniff… I live in a town so they need to be on the lead, at home they run free over fields and getting them to walk together is a constant problem. Then picking up poop, whilst the elder tries to run off (as she always does afterwards) the younger then immediately decides to poop as well, but elsewhere - ah, maybe that training worked after all. Remember, they are both at the end of their leash, I’m in the middle, with two separate poops to clear up. Add in darkness, rain and autumn leaves. My sister, I think, was on the Mediterrean for that one.

Her husband had refused to spay the older dog because, he said, “It is unfair to put her through such pain and fear just for our convenience”, whilst crossing his legs to protect himself from the mere thought of castration. I was therefore expected to look after two dogs, travelling in two directions at two different speeds, even when both were in season and dripping blood because one would tolerate a nappy and the other would not. It reached the point that I actually refused to have them and was then subjected to strong emotional blackmail for a couple of days. The dogs totally hated the fancy dog ‘hotel’ they went to, on that one occasion. Next time I was bribed to have them again. Fortunately, after the senior dog was nearly killed when trying to mate in the middle of a main road, they have both now been spayed.

Covid has put a stop to most travel so I haven’t had the dogs for more than a year but I’m not really looking forward to the next time. But I do love my sister.

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Definitely wait. Sounds like an intense breed, a breed you would want to focus on and would take quite a bit of energy to raise and keep.

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As someone who just got a pandemic puppy and has an older dog (and a child but she’s 9.) I say wait.

We love our pup, we knew he’d be high energy (I have two Border Collie crosses.) We spend a lot of time with our dogs. Honestly it feels like our schedule revolves around the puppy (who is now almost a year old.) We knew this going in, have the time and schedule to do it. But it’s a real commitment.

Like others have said, you will be SO tired. It really is so much like having a newborn. One time, I had a breakdown. Lack of sleep got to me and the nipping! He’s turning into a good dog now but the first few months were rough, even though we were prepared. I can’t imagine having young children or a baby while raising a puppy. I truly could not do it. You would be signing yourself up for sleepless nights twice over.

I’d wait a few years.

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